Car Accident Lawsuit

When someone gets involved in a car accident, they pursue a settlement claim against the at-fault party, but what happens if the settlement talks are unsuccessful and a fair settlement cannot be reached? In that case, filing a car accident lawsuit might be the best option. Please continue reading to learn three common reasons to file a car accident lawsuit.

What is a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Car accident lawsuits are often filed as personal injury lawsuits, but there are also other types of car accident lawsuits. Typically, a significant chunk of auto accident cases is settled out of court through the claim process. When a claim is filed, the insurance company can make a settlement offer to the claimant. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, the claimant can choose to sue the liable party.

After the lawsuit is filed, the opposing parties are allowed to mediate to try and reach a settlement before a trial date is scheduled. If the mediation process is unsuccessful, the case goes to trial. The outcome of the lawsuit can be different from a claim because a judge or jury decides the verdict instead of the insurance company. A Ventura auto accident attorney can help you prepare for the lawsuit.

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Three Common Reasons to File a Car Accident Lawsuit

The Other Driver is At Fault

All motorists have to provide reasonable care to every road user, and if you sustained damages because a driver breached that duty, you may have the grounds to sue them. Generally, you can pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for various reasons, including if the maximum compensation you got from the personal injury claim was insufficient to cover all damages caused by the liable party.

It is also possible that the third-party insurance claim you filed was unsuccessful because the other driver’s insurance company denied or lowballed your claim using bad-faith tactics.

Insurance companies can also use the comparative negligence rule to try and put you at a disadvantage and leave you no choice but to pursue a lawsuit.

Unreasonably Low Settlement Offer

Insurance companies can often offer an unreasonably low settlement offer. You can tell the settlement offer is low when the insurance company pressures you into accepting a first offer.

Insurance companies prioritize their profits, which is why they use all types of tactics to convince you that your claim is not worth more than what they offer. Claimants often decide to file a lawsuit if the offer is unacceptable.

The Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance

If the other driver does not carry insurance, you cannot pursue a third-party claim for compensation. Your uninsured motorist coverage may not cover all of the damages, so your only option could be to file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver could help you recover maximum compensation through a court-ordered payment plan or by placing a lien on their assets.

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FAQs

When can I file a car accident lawsuit?

You can file a car accident lawsuit after a car accident occurs, but it’s recommended to wait until you’ve fully recovered from your injuries and have gathered all relevant evidence related to the accident. In most states, there is a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit, typically ranging from 1-6 years.

Who can I sue in a car accident lawsuit?

The responsible party or parties in a car accident can vary depending on the circumstances. In many cases, you can sue the other driver involved in the accident if they were at fault. In some cases, you may also be able to sue a government agency responsible for maintaining the road, a vehicle manufacturer for a defect that contributed to the accident, or another third party that played a role in causing the accident.

What types of damages can I recover in a car accident lawsuit?

In a car accident lawsuit, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. In some cases, you may also be able to recover punitive damages, which are designed to punish the responsible party for particularly reckless or irresponsible behavior.

How long does it take to settle a car accident lawsuit?

The length of time it takes to settle a car accident lawsuit can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the willingness of the parties to settle, and the backlog of cases in the court system. On average, it can take several months to several years to resolve a car accident lawsuit.

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Do I need a lawyer to file a car accident lawsuit?

While you are not legally required to have a lawyer to file a car accident lawsuit, it is highly recommended. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process, gather and present evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights. An attorney can also help you understand your options and make informed decisions about how to proceed with your case.

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